Publicly identifying yourself as a survivor — even if the narrative is uplifted by others and followed by positive support — comes with a reeling set of emotional and self-care needs. These needs require strict boundaries if you want to continue to speak with candor and sincerity. As a survivor, I didn’t mention anything about Brett Kavanaugh’s sexual assault allegations until I listened to Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony on the morning of Sept. 27. Without her voice, I was not moved to speak about the case. Not only do I already believe women, but I needed to hear how she was treated by the Senate Judiciary Committee before I chose my words.
I was very surprised by the supportive stances some of the committee members took, calling Blasey Ford a hero and thanking her for her bravery. There were demeaning and sexist tones to the hearing, of course, with her finances and alliances continuously being called into question, but there was also praise. The kindness was, for me, interesting, as I am aware of how Anita Hill was verbally abused, condescended to, and intimidated in the very same room in 1991.
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